So, the walk in the fields is over and I am back in the bustling city of Bangalore. It was a glorious, lazy three months of shopping, gossip, friends, reading books and eating out in Palampur. Didn’t walk as much as I would have wished and didn’t draw at all but still was just so busy all the time with friends and family. It was an ideal vacation. There was also some adventure when the on the first night I was alone at home, thieves tried to break into my neighbor’s house and took my lawn chair to do it! The scary part was that before this they, i.e. the thieves, only tried to get into houses that were empty and this was very much out of character and very disturbing. I stayed alone for so many years and was never worried about them but this episode did terrify me. So, I got Rusty ( my little cousin) to come over and sleep in the house. Unfortunately, he talks in his sleep. And as he is usually playing football in his dreams and screaming at someone to pass the ball or to ‘hit it’ or scoring a loud and screeching ‘GOAL’ it was not as comfortable having him around a I would have liked. My heart almost leaped out of my chest when he screamed just as I was falling asleep.
Ate fresh strawberries from mosu’s garden. They were blooming quite late in the season and so were a little tiny but they tasted like heaven.
I went to the monastery cafe in McLeod Ganj with Rusty for an early morning cup of coffee and a little bit of reading. He fidgeted with the cell phone and gave long sigh’s of dissatisfaction throughout the one hour we sat there until I finally decided to leave.
This was the everyday walk to my friends home. Just look at the Jacaranda’s in full bloom.
The birds were in unusual abundance this year too and if you are interested in them then the best book about birds in our district is called ‘Birds of Kangra’ by Jan Willem den Besten. It’s a beautiful book and very affordable and even if the pictures are small, they are beautiful and clear. Not easy to find everywhere but once you open it you will be pointing out green verditer’s and long tailed flycatcher’s in no time.
The railway station of Maranda is unbelievably romantic with sloping roofs and stairs that go down to the platform but the only problem is there are no trains in Himachal. Of course, people will say ‘what about the little blue one?’. Well, when a train takes 7-8 hours to cover a distance that is usually covered in 3 hours by road, it is better off being called a non-entity. The red flowers in the foreground are ‘Palash’ and were gorgeous at this time of the year.
Bought beautiful rainbow trout from my cousin’s farm near Jogindernagar and deposited them at Madhabi di’s house and let her do the hard work. Hmmmm.. they don’t look very appetizing if you are a vegetarian.
Made loads of panacotta and force fed it to every poor soul who dared to come into my home. This attempt was much better than the one I made for the dinner party I gave at home when I tried to make plum jelly and didn’t remove the extremely sour, almost bitter, skins of the plums. Most did end up calling it ‘terracotta’ or ‘pocota’, but ‘the panacotta episode’ has now made it into the books.
This is one of the things brother’s do. The younger one bought me a flower for my hair! Its, cheap, its plastic and its so completely adorable. I mean I am too old to be wearing ‘clips’ like these but who cares!
Baked this 10 minute microwave cake and thought I must have it wrong and so kept it for 5 minutes more. End result, rock cake! Yes, this time I did all these cooking faux pas that had to be borne by my immediate family. It still tasted great though, when you managed to break a piece.
And of course bought loads and loads of books from Bookworm, McLeod Ganj, then had them carted over to Bangalore by a courier service.
All in all it was a very satisfying holiday. Now I just have to settle down into my Bangalore routine once more and all will be as it was.